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Coalesce - Give Them Rope

Growing up, I was a metal kid: if there was any shred at all, I ate it up. This means that in 1997 I wasn’t aware of bands like Coalesce, who came more from the hardcore side of things and certainly did not shred, although they’re of course now widely respected as being among the first bands to meld metal and hardcore into one. If I had heard Coalesce in 1997 I might’ve been impressed by their use of ever-shifting time signatures, but I might’ve also been too turned off by their gruff vocals to care; no way to know now, I suppose. But what’s most important is that since discovering Coalesce many, many years later I’ve grown to love and appreciate both their music itself and their important role in metal history as one of the original metalcore bands, before it became a dirty word.

So: Coalesce are re-releasing their debut 1997 album Give Them Rope, along with a re-mixed and transmogrified version of Give Them Rope they put out in 2004, together as a two-CD or two-LP set. Since I wasn’t aware of the original version when it came out I can’t really say I have a preference one way or the other (although the mix on the 2004 version does sound beefier), but I know this is the kind of raging debate that gives message boards a reason to exist. NPR is streaming both versions of album cut “Still It Sells,” so you be the judge: which is better?? Visit for the jamz and stay for the fascinating interview with vocalist Sean Ingram about the history of both versions and the impetus behind releasing this set. Also, bonus: new Coalesce album already in the works!

Pre-order the Give Them Rope re-issue set here.


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